Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, especially for people who love to entertain! Opportunities abound for gatherings, parties, soirees, whatever suits your fancy! So, if you have an entertainer on your gift list, it’s the perfect time to give them a gift that makes entertaining easier and a little more fun. So, I’ve rounded up for you the top-ten must have items for entertaining. At price points ranging from $5-$100 you’re sure to find just the right thing to bring a smile to the hostess extraordinaire in your life. Or maybe you just need to pick up a couple of these things for yourself to get through the holiday season! So, without further ado, let’s check this out –
When serving a crowd, especially with kids, nothing is easier that a large drink dispenser! But not all drink dispensers are created equally. When looking for a dispenser, look for one that is raised up off the table so there is clearance for a cup to fit under the nozzle. You also really want to look at reviews. I got a beautiful glass drink dispenser on a wrought iron stand as a wedding gift, but the nozzle was cheap plastic and broke the first time I used it. Boo!!! Pay close attention to reviews about the quality and longevity of the dispenser.
My favorite dispenser is actually a double drink dispenser so I can have water and lemonade or tea going at the same time. Also remember, bigger is not always better. I had a friend who had a HUGE drink dispenser, it could have served 40 people. But she really only had groups of 20 so it always looked empty. She finally tossed it and always borrows mine now.
If a drink dispenser is too high of a price point for you, a variety of pitchers is also a must have for an entertainer. Everyone should have a pretty one – glass or stoneware – for nice parties and a couple of plastic ones for everyday use or parites with kids. I personally love glass vintage ones you can pick up at antique stores but for everyday use, I love one with a built in stirring plunger to help keep drinks mixed.
Stemless Acrylic Wine Glasses
Remember back in the day, pre-kids, when we used to have elegant gatherings where were consumed cheese and wine and actually paid attention to what we were drinking? Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore.
I still love to serve wine but my guests are always juggling their glasses with a handsy baby in tow or chasing after toddlers around the backyard. It’s time to rethink the stemware offerings. That’s why I love these acrylic, stemless wine glasses. Stemless means a low center of gravity and less likely to spill. Acrylic means when they do get tipped or dropped, they won’t break. Plus, no more worrying about sending your glasses out into the yard with distracted guests. If your purchasing them as a gift, I always recommend having 6-8 of any type of glass to ensure you have enough.
Roaster or Buffet Server
I just recently acquired an electric roaster and I can’t believe I lived without it for so long! It’s essentially the capacity of two crockpots so if you’re needing to serve a lot of people, it’s awesome! Of course, it can also do your holiday roasts and turkey leaving your oven free for sides and dessert.
A buffet server is essentially an electric chaffing dish usually with three compartments for keeping food warm while serving. I’ve had one of these for years and it’s really come in handy, especially if you’re serving brunch. Mine actually converts to just a flat warming tray too which is nice if you have dishes you just want to sit on it and keep warm during dinner.
Now, here’s the mind-blowing truth, apparently, you can get a roaster with inserts to make it a buffet server! (Clouds part, angels sing!) Seriously, if you don’t own either of these items yet, go that route it would be so amazingly useful! You would lose the warming tray feature but I think the trade-off would be worth it to only have one appliance to store.
When it comes to setting out a spread, height makes a huge difference! Not just for visual appeal but also for getting more food on a smaller surface area. That’s why I’m kind of addicted to cake stands. Right now, I own four but I’d like to own more. They really are versatile show stoppers. I use them for cakes and desserts, or course, but also for fruit or just to raise another dish up off the table. If the recipient doesn’t yet own a cake stand, I recommend going with clear glass, white or marble. These finishes are multipurpose and can work with almost any occasion.
Tiered Serving Plate
Remember how I said height adds a lot to a buffet as well as making room for more food? Well, the only thing that does that better than a cake plate is a tiered serving plate! These are perfect for displaying finger foods, cookies and fruit. Most of these also collapse for easy storage – yay!
Marble Serving Tray or Cutting Board
We focus a lot about how to keep food warm on a buffet but what about how to keep it cold? Marble is your friend when something needs to stay a little chilled. A large marble tray or cutting board is just the ticket for serving fruit or veggies outdoors. It can also double as an elegant way to display a dessert or just to bring some different elements into your serve-ware options. Plus, even though marble is a bit trendy right now, the classic white with gray marbling is timeless and should provide years of use.
Dry Erase Place Cards
I know what you’re thinking, place cards? Seriously? I’m not that fancy. The beauty of these little beauties is that you can use them for so much more than telling people where to sit. I love to use mine to label food on buffets (can you tell I host a lot of buffets these days), to leave instructions for guests, or any other of a myriad of things.
Actually, these taught me a great hack in general. I now use dry erase markers write directly on my Fiestaware plates, it wipes right off. So, especially if you’re serving a cheese plate, you can write the names of the cheeses on the rim of the dish, clever huh?
But I digress, get your loved-one the dry erase place cards, she’ll love them! Plus, these are a very cost-effective gift.
Also at a great price point for gifting is a silverware caddy. I love using this to easily transport silverware and napkins out to a backyard BBQ. Bonus – it keeps your napkins from blowing away. There are even some really cute DIY options on Pinterest if you’re feeling crafty. So, long story short, get or give one of these.
I’ll be the first to admit, I have a problem. I have an addiction to cute paperware – plates, napkins, trendy disposable flatware, paper straws – I WANT ALL THE PRETTY THINGS! I have been known to plan a party around a paper plate I found and really wanted to use. My husband has actually limited me to one box of disposable partyware because it was taking over the garage. So, for people like me, cute, clever or trendy paper plates and napkins are a great stocking stuffers. Look for them at trendy boutiques, online or at bigger stores with style like Target.
So this list has me thinking, is there some amazing entertaining item I haven’t discovered yet?! I bet there is! If you know what it is comment below because I want to add it to my Christmas list. And also comment and let me know if you use any of these items or plan on getting them as a gift for someone else. Let’s spread the love!
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